Beethoven: The String Quartets

Beethoven: The String Quartets

by Amadeus Quartet
     
 

While not the first complete recorded cycle of the Beethoven "String Quartets," the Amadeus Quartet's late-'50s early-'60s set of the complete Beethoven quartets may be the first great recorded cycle. The Amadeus Quartet was a part-Austrian, part-English ensemble that fused elegance and intelligence and expressivity with virtuosity to createSee more details below

Overview

While not the first complete recorded cycle of the Beethoven "String Quartets," the Amadeus Quartet's late-'50s early-'60s set of the complete Beethoven quartets may be the first great recorded cycle. The Amadeus Quartet was a part-Austrian, part-English ensemble that fused elegance and intelligence and expressivity with virtuosity to create a style of quartet playing wholly suited to the Viennese classics from Mozart through Brahms but which fit Beethoven like a hand-tailored suit. While other ensembles had recorded the Beethoven quartets before the Amadeus, none of those performances had the clarity and lucidity the Amadeus brought to them. Forty years later, the Amadeus' "Op. 18 Quartets" are still among the best ever recorded: graceful and gracious, witty and intelligent, polished and expressive, the Amadeus' performances embody all that is best in the "early" quartets. The Amadeus' Op. 59 is nearly as great: its complete control of tempo and texture clarifies the thematic and harmonic structures of the quartets and only in the most strenuous passages and deepest movements does the Amadeus seem ever so slightly out of its depths. Similarly, its Op. 74 is one of the most beautiful and expressive ever recorded, but it cannot quite express the unfettered fury of the "Quartet Op. 95." Only in the "late" quartets does the Amadeus sound not entirely up to the challenge of Beethoven's music. While it plays it all superbly, there are times when it seems unable to get beneath the surface of the music to the spiritual depths below and one is left with the impression of great things left unsaid. For all the clarity and lucidity of the Amadeus' performance, there is a sense that it cannot quite face the ultimate profundities of late Beethoven.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2000
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028946314326
catalogNumber:
463143
Rank:
33467

Tracks

  1. String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  2. String Quartet No. 2 in G major ("Compliments"), Op. 18/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  3. String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18/3  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  4. String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18/4  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  5. String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18/5  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  6. String Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18/6  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  7. String Quartet No. 7 in F major ("Rasumovsky 1"), Op. 59/1  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  8. String Quartet No. 8 in E minor ("Rasumovsky 2"), Op. 59/2  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  9. String Quartet No. 9 in C major ("Rasumovsky 3"), Op. 59/3  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  10. String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major ("Harp"), Op. 74  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  11. String Quartet No. 11 in F minor ("Serioso"), Op. 95  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  12. String Quartet No. 12 in E flat major, Op. 127  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  13. Fugue for string quartet in B flat major ("Grosse Fuge"), Op. 133  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  14. String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  15. String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  16. String Quartet No. 15 in A minor ("Heiliger Dankgesang"), Op. 132  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller
  17. String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135  - Ludwig van Beethoven  -  Amadeus Quartet  - Nikolaus Boddin  - Elsa Schiller

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